Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Daniel
"Of late years I have said
the time will come that we will so far from Bible Christianity we can well say,
“We had a prophet among us, but did not know it.” So wrote J. D. Tant to Daniel
Sommer twelve years ago.
The truculent Daniel Sommer was particularly adapt at making close friends and
fierce enemies—only he preferred to call them “friendly friends” and “unfriendly
friends,” never enemies. He found a martyr's satisfaction in thinking of himself
as the "most hated" and "most loved" man in the "disciple brotherhood." Despite,
however, the obloquy of his “unfriendly friends,” Daniel Sommer was unmoved in
championing points of view which the brotherhood charitably at times called his
"extremes." No matter how one may view the full effect of Sommer's work, it
cannot be denied that before the year 1906, the enigmatic Daniel Sommer was a
force with which to reckon. He has left his mark—whether for weal or woe will
remain for the future to reveal.
The story of Sommer's life
is an inspiring one. Although reared in almost absolute poverty, by sheer
determination he became the protégé of Elder Ben Franklin and one of the most
popular preachers in the brotherhood. He was “strong in the faith and robust
mentally and physically” as W. B. F. Treat once described him. The appraisal is
not overdrawn. Sommer had complete confidence in the word of God, and a
child-like trust in God's leadings. It can hardly be denied that he was
spiritually a giant. He loved the Bible and studied vigorously. He prayed
constantly, and devoted himself earnestly to the work of God. Like Tolbert
Fanning he was of an extreme independent term of mind, and took no man as an
authority in religion. He freely challenged the great men. His series of
twenty-five articles entitled “‘Disciples of Christ’ Challenged" which were run
in the Apostolic Review in 1935 and 1936 show a refreshingly independent
approach to the writings of Alexander Campbell.
Physically, Sommer was a
giant. His excellent bodily condition enabled him to stretch his earthly life
from the normal "three score and ten" to "four score and ten." His worn out
frame yielded to death on February 14, 1940, and was laid to rest in Crown Hill
Cemetery at Indianapolis.
A little over ninety years
before, Daniel Sommer was born in St. Mary's County, in the state of Maryland.
The exact date was January 11, 1850.
Sommer's parents were both
German. His father, John Sommer, was a Hessian, and his mother, Magdalena Wyman
was a Bavarian. Both had emigrated to America in 1835. They were married "at or
near" Washington D. C. in 1840. John Sommer died a comparatively young man, at
the age of forty-one. Daniel Sommer was only a child at the time, and
consequently remembered little of his father. By trade, his father was a
blacksmith. He worked hard, but unlike most Germans, saved little. Although not
a drunkard, he did drink considerably, and consequently, too much of his money
was lost in this way. When he died, he left his widow with no money and a large
family. The future for the family looked dark.
Sommer learned that
tribulation is a difficult but necessary school in which to learn patience and
perseverance. When John Sommer moved his family near the village of Queen Ann in
Prince George's County, Maryland around 1855, he contacted a severe cold in the
process. The cold developed into pneumonia, causing his death. His penniless
widow, burdened with a large family, went unselfishly to work. To earn money she
sewed suits for the negro slaves owned by the rich plantation owners in the
vicinity. Usually a slave was allowed two suits a year by his master, so
naturally, they sought for the best seamstress to make the clothing to last the
Queen Ann was a small
village on the west bank of the Patuxent River, about thirty miles east of
Washington D. C. There were no churches of any kind here, and scarcely anything
else to give it the reputation of being a village. Here, Daniel Sommer spent
some of his early years. The family lived in a log cabin, each did some kind of
work. Young Daniel set his traps, and in the winter brought in the game from his
traps. The family lived for many days at a time on wild rabbit and corn bread.
In the spring of 1859
Daniel was hired out to do his first work. He was only nine years old, and the
law said a boy could not do public work under the age of ten. But his employer
was a friend and conveniently lied about his age. Hoswell Marguder, his
employer, was building roads through that section of Maryland, and hired Daniel
for a very small salary to help in the construction. Young Daniel arose before
daylight. put his breakfast and lunch in a sack, and walked several miles to be
at the place of work on time. He would walk back again at night, and fall
exhausted upon the floor of the log cabin, only to have the process repeated the
next day. Off and on he worked at this job through the fall of 1861. When the
war came, workers were scarce and work plentiful, so the boys below army age
secured their full share. Although the war raged about him, Sommer lived in
almost complete oblivion of it.
He entered school first at
the age of seven. At first, he was slow to learn and received considerable
"teasing" about it. Nevertheless, he managed to take full advantage of his
opportunities and advanced very well. His school clays lasted only a few months
each year for five years. He dropped out in the spring of 1862 to return to
work. Until he entered Bethany College seven years later, he was never again
inside of a school. Through the winter of 1862-63 he worked as a farm hand for
four dollars a month and his board.
Up to the spring of 1863
Sommer had given very little thought to religion. His parents were nominally
Lutherans. and had their children sprinkled by Lutheran ministers. But they gave
no devoted time to practicing their religion. Although through young life,
Sommer had picked up a few bad habits, common to boys of the world. He could
curse a little, and in case of necessity found it easy to lie occasionally. Old
fashioned thievery was out, but woe be to the person who left a penknife lying
around without a guard. These habits, then as now, were hardly considered too
bad for an irreligious boy who had never given serious thought about his
responsibility to God.
In the spring of 1863 Miss
Louisa V. Harwood, an adopted daughter of the store keeper in the village,
decided to open a Sunday School in a private house and invite the children of
the neighborhood. Sommer at first was but little interested but later changed
his mind. The young teacher presented her lessons in an appealing manner so
Sommer became interested. She encouraged the children to think about their
soul's welfare and asked them to "repent and pray" to God. Sommer for one, took
her seriously and began for the first time to pray. It was not long until he was
living an entirely different life.
At the close of 1863 Sommer
left the plantation of William Fielder Howell where he had been employed, to
work for Oden Bowie. Here, Sommer had some unpleasant experiences, due in the
main to the fact that Bowie expected too much out of the farm hands. He left
this farm on January 1, 1865 and the next day hired out to a farmer by the name
of Mullikin. Sommer's mother, meanwhile, lived in a tenant house on the farm.
Before the close of 1864
Sommer had grown careless about his religion, lapsing into indifference. About
this time a revival meeting was conducted among the Methodists in McKendry
Chapel. Sommer was solicited as a likely candidate to come forward, "get
religion" and "join the church." He convinced them that he had religion already,
and so was promptly admitted into the church. He began now to be regular in
attending Bible classes at the Methodist Church.
During the winter of 1866,
Sommer chopped wood for a living. It was during this time that he heard of a
group of people called the disciples of Christ. He heard it rumored that these
people had no knowledge of "heart-felt" religion, and had no experience in
conversion. They simply took the attitude, he heard, that if they did certain
things, God was obligated to save them. The whole affair was rumored to be a
cold, legalistic type of religion, and of course, was arduously condemned. So,
when Sommer had a day off from work, he went down to a creek to observe a
baptism being conducted by D. S. Burnet, whom Sommer understood to be the
preacher for the church in Baltimore, but who was now here in the country
conducting an evangelistic meeting.
In the winter of 1866
Sommer moved into Hartford County, Maryland. Here he had his first real contact
with the restoration. At the "Mountain Meeting House," also called the
"Jerusalem Church," there was a preacher by the name of Calderwood, commonly
described as a man "too lazy to work between meals." Talk of him—evidently not
too praiseworthy—and of his teaching often became the topic of conversation in
the community. When Sommer went to work for a man by the name of John Dallas
Everitt, a member of the church, young Daniel was now placed directly in the
line for some wholesome teaching. When he reminded Everitt that he had been
baptized—sprinkled when he was a baby—young Sommer was promptly told he had not
been baptized at all. Step by step, through discussion and research of the
Scripture, Sommer was led. For a year the discussions continued and Sommer
found his convictions slowly changing. Finally, in August of 1869 he was
baptized by Elder T A. Crenshaw of Middletown, Pennsylvania.
The question of selecting a
life's work now renewed itself in Sommer's mind. His father had selected him to
be a blacksmith because of his hardy physical makeup. Later, one or another
possible vocation suggested itself. Now that Sommer was converted, and was
intensively interested in the Bible, he began to toss about in his mind the
possibility of preaching the gospel. When he spoke to some of the elderly men in
the congregation about it, they encouraged him, but suggested that he first
needed more education. Bethany College was the closest of the schools connected
with the brotherhood. Besides, it was the most illustrious. Alexander Campbell's
memory hovered spirit-like around it. His son-in-law, W. K. Pendleton, was now
its president. C. L. Loos, a highly-respected educator, was connected with the
school. Robert Richardson, although growing old, was still there. Sommer,
therefore, prepared to enter Bethany College.
He came to Bethany in the
same state of poverty that had characterized his entire life. Consequently he
worked hard to pay his way, and went greatly in debt besides. His educational
background was very limited—not having put in over five years, and those were
disconnected and under inadequate circumstances in country school houses. Sommer
entered Bethany far below other students both in educational background and
financial security, but no student ever entered with more determination. At
first, he took Latin, Greek, and algebra, but dropped the algebra to take
The first disappointment
that Sommer felt with the brotherhood came during his student days at Bethany.
He noticed that there were two classes of disciples in the church. One class
believed that the Bible was a revelation to the saint and sinner. The other
believed it was only a revelation to the sinner. The rule with the latter class
was that God gave a revelation to tell the sinner how to become a Christian, but
beyond that, the rule was “love God and do as you please.” There were no laws
governing the church, and in the final analysis, sincerity alone was sufficient.
President W. K. Pendleton was a champion of this point of view.
“The smooth and
compromising manner of President Pendleton,” wrote W. B. F. Treat, “had no
charms for him” (Daniel Sommer). He reacted violently against this. Although C.
L. Loos was less addicted to this type of thinking, he was still the friend of
human societies outside the church to do the work of the church, and in this
connection Sommer had his first serious trouble.
The lady members of the
church in Bethany decided to raise some money to buy new curtains, and new
carpet and to paint the building. C. L. Loos, an elder in the congregation, gave
a talk before the congregation one evening favoring the plan. A Ladies' Mite
Society was organized and the announcement made that the hat would be passed
that each person might give his mite to this work. The Mite Society held
frequent meetings, which in Sommer's opinion degenerated into something very
worldly. It was the custom of the church to invite different preachers among the
students to speak at the Sunday evening services at the church. When Sommer
received his invitation, he chose the first Psalm as a text, and closed the
discourse with a severe blast at the Mite Society. This blow staggered the
Society and in a matter of few days it died peacefully, but the blast shook
Sommer's popularity considerably around the school.
The Mite Society was the
first deviation from apostolic principles that Sommer found in the church after
becoming a Christian. He was proud of the fact that he had publicly attacked it,
and that his flagellations against all unscriptural practices were never known
to stop as long as he lived. Sommer wrote:
I denounced publicly the
first deviation from apostolic simplicity that I found among “disciples,” and I
have been acting on the same principle ever since. For a brief period I thought
that “mutual teaching and exhortation” should be the order at the time of
worship without what is called a “sermon.” But I soon learned that when any one
imitating the apostle Paul as a preacher was present at such a meeting then that
one should be used as Paul was at Troas. Then for a brief period I thought that
we should not offend the objector to classifying children and others in order to
teach them in the meeting house. But I soon learned the evil results of doing
nothing special for children on Lord's Day, and thus I turned from my mistake on
role as a critic of brotherhood activities cost him dearly in friends, and gave
him a reputation not altogether too envious. It is seldom that an individual
can voluntarily select the role of a critic but what he can become overbalanced
in this department of his work, and go to an extreme. One can repose, however,
in some felicity with the thought that it is better to have a watch dog that
barks too much than one that barks not at all.
In the spring of 1871 Ben
Franklin, editor of the American Christian Review, came to
Wellsburgh, West Virginia to conduct an evangelistic meeting. Quite naturally,
Sommer had heard of Franklin, as had nearly every member of the church. From
what he had heard about Franklin, he rather liked him, but he wanted to go see
him and be sure. He asked and secured permission to miss classes one day at the
College and went to Wellsburg to be with Ben Franklin. It was a case of love at
first sight, and the love was fully returned. The aging Ben Franklin took a
liking to young Sommer, and Sommer in turn idolized Ben Franklin. To the day of
his death, Sommer never ceased regarding Franklin as the quintessence of gospel
preachers. Sommer could well recall that at this meeting he found Franklin
brokenhearted. Franklin now lived in Cincinnati where the Central Christian
Church was erecting its $140,000 meeting house and putting in it an $8,000
organ. This case of extravagance was unparalleled in restoration history. So
thought Franklin. His spirit was low when he met Sommer and he poured out his
heart to his young protégé, and Sommer drank it in at the same timeconsciously
or unconsciously—firmly resolving to duplicate this man's life in his own.
Sommer's stay at Bethany
College covered less than three years. During the Christmas holidays of 1872, he
went to a place called Dutch Fork in Maryland and conducted a meeting. He did
not return to take the final examinations that year, and dropped out of school.
On his occasional excursions into Maryland, Sommer, too, had had other interests
in mind the nature of which was clearly revealed when on this return trip he
married Miss Kate Way.
For a short time
immediately following his marriage, Sommer preached for one of the churches in
Baltimore. There were two congregations there. The Paca Street Church where
S. Burnet had preached until his death, and the congregation for which Sommer
now preached had long been divided. The Paca Street congregation now had a
preacher, who, in Sommer's opinion, was somewhat less than a Christian as it
respected his morals. Sommer's stay was somewhat shortened and occasioned by
considerable inter-congregational animosity.
During the time he lived in
Baltimore, however, Sommer made a fast friend of George Austen, one of the
elders. Austen had succeeded in establishing congregations in the bordering
territory, and was one of the leading men in the church in that day. He was a
harsh critic of Sommer's at a time perhaps when Sommer needed this. After
hearing Sommer twice on one Lord's Day, he wrote his young friend the following
Your forenoon's discourse
was only tolerable. At night I knew you had made a failure as soon as I heard
your text. Your gesticulations were stiff and awkward: your intonations of voice
were forced and unnatural; your outlines were only ordinary, and the filing-up
Such harshness was far from
pleasant, but Sommer profited by it.
After a brief stay in
Baltimore, Sommer moved to Kelton, Pennsylvania where he preached for the next
five or six years. This congregation was one that George Austen had established.
In the absence of any documentary evidence, it is not unlikely that Austen
played some part in the changing of the locations.
At Kelton, Sommer took the
opportunity for constant growth. Little of any significance came from him before
the brotherhood. In 1872 he wrote his first article for Ben Franklin which was
published in the American Christian Review. Three years later a few short
articles appeared. Then there is silence until the fall of 1878 when Sommer
wrote for the Review. Aside from these occasional flings at writing,
Sommer kept busy in evangelistic meetings, his unusual ability becoming more
widely known. From November 8 to December 14, 1878, he was in a meeting at
Reynoldsburg, Ohio. A. E. Sprague who heard him through the entire meeting wrote
He is a young man not yet
in the prime of life; his voice strong and clear; his enunciations exceedingly
good; his knowledge of scripture rarely excelled; his energy untiring; his
manner and address pleasing; all these, together with his exemplary walk, and
great reverence for the word of God, makes him a man of no ordinary ability.
In the spring of 1879 while
still living at Kelton, Sommer was bitten by a mad dog, which gave him
hydrophobia. Two physicians attended him, dosing him heavily with lobelia.
He felt heavily the blow of
Ben Franklin's death in the fall of 1878, for he and Franklin had corresponded
frequently, and already Sommer had sent in a series of articles entitled,
“Educating Preachers” which were aimed at the culpableness of Bethany College.
When John F. Rowe took over the editorship of the Review, Sommer
continued his writing for several months, but eventually dropped from the
While preaching in Kelton,
in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Sommer had occasion to receive a high
compliment from Ben Franklin. In April, 1878 Franklin wrote Sommer of a
congregation needing a preacher. The particular place offered twice the salary
Sommer was then receiving, and from every point of view was attractive. But
Sommer declined, writing to Ben Franklin that he was needed at Kelton more than
at the other congregation. Although Franklin regretted that Sommer would not
make the move, he admired the spirit, and so wrote :
We like this letter, though
it does not agree to what we had in view. It is in the spirit of the pioneers in
our great work, and of the primitive men in the church. The question with
Brother Sommer is not how much money he can make out of his fine gifts and the
gospel, but how much he can do in the great work of saving men.
In 1880 Sommer moved from
Kelton, Pennsylvania to Reynoldsburg, Ohio, stopping by Columbus for a short
time on the move. In 1883 he began editorial work on his own. Together with L.
F. Bittle he started a small monthly paper called the Octograph. The name
was coined by Bittle to denote the “writings of eight,” referring to the eight
writers of the New Testament. The paper was thus to be thoroughly apostolic.
Bittle is one of those little-known heroes of the restoration. For a few years,
while the Review was published by Franklin, he flamed into brilliance
before the brotherhood in his opposition to the "digressive" tendencies. Among
Review readers, he was extremely popular.
In the fall of 1884 Sommer
moved to Martel, Ohio, and the following spring, on to Richwood. At this latter
place the church had only seventy-five members and was unable to support a
preacher. Besides they were deeply in debt. Sommer agreed to preach for them
temporarily for nothing. The congregation was, when Sommer came, using an organ,
supporting the missionary societies, and selling pies at church festivals to
raise money. Sommer, of course, pitched heavily into these. J. J. Moss, one of
the liberal preachers, came by, conducted a meeting, and the result was an open
division in the congregation.
As a preacher, however,
Sommer was continuing to gain a great prominence. George W. Rice, after hearing
him preach, said, "As an earnest and clear-headed gospel preacher he falls
behind no one in the rank. For zeal, devotion and earnestness in preaching the
gospel I place him next to Brother Franklin.
On another occasion Rice said of Sommer's preaching:
It forcibly reminded me of
the preaching of the pioneer days, when men were ready to spend and he spent in
the restoration of the apostolic gospel and order of things. . .
He is so full of the gospel
that he has thrown everything else overboard—knowing nothing else but Jesus
Christ and him crucified. By doing this, he fills every person so full of the
gospel that all innovations are given up and forgotten where he preaches.
Ben Franklin, too, had
always high regard for young Sommer as a promising gospel preacher. Shortly
before he died, Franklin conducted a meeting in Detroit. Speaking confidentially
to O. M. Benedict of Sommer, Franklin said:
I consider Brother Sommer
as one of the most promising young men in my whole acquaintance. God has given
him a grand physique, a strong, grasping mind, a sharp pen, a fairly-ready
tongue, and his heart is attuned to the grand principles of this great
When Edwin Alden, owner of
the American Christian Review, presented the paper for sale in the summer
of 1886, Sommer was quick to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase it.
The following spring the name was changed to Octographic Review. For the
next seven years the paper was published first from Cincinnati, then from
Richwood. All of the while, Sommer was casting about for a better location.
Indianapolis immediately appealed to him due to its central location in the
heart of the great brotherhood. But he was not adverse to moving it somewhere
else. For a short time brethren in Missouri made a bid for it, but this did not
materialize. Gradually Sommer became more and more in demand as a preacher in
the state of Indiana, a fact which made Indianapolis seem more than ever like
the best location from which to publish the Review. Early in 1894 then
Sommer moved to this city. His office was at first at 66 ½ North Pennsylvania
Street, but in two or three months was moved to West Udell Street in north
Indianapolis. The first issue of the Octographic Review to come from
Indianapolis was dated March 20, 1894.
The church in Indianapolis
had grown considerably since John O'Kane had conducted the first evangelistic
meeting there in 1833. Out of O'Kane's effort had gradually developed what
became known as the Central Christian Church. With the establishment of
Northwestern Christian College in 1855 in the city, members of the church were
attracted to the city. When, following the Civil War, the instruments of music
began filling all the churches, brethren who opposed these found themselves
forced to start their work all over again.
Taking the lead in this new
birth was Dr. Joshua Webb. Born on August 13, 1809 in Columbiana County, Ohio,
Webb was baptized by Elder William Schooley when he was only fifteen. At the age
of twenty-one he began to preach. He spent his entire time preaching for the
next seven years, and usually with marked success. At Beaver Creek in Maryland
the whole Lutheran Church dissolved its denominational status and adopted the
name, Christian. At this time the Lutherans, becoming alarmed, sent their
favorite, S. K. Hoshour of Hagerstown, Maryland to confound Webb, but Webb
succeeded in leading Hoshour to restoration principles. Webb's health broke and
he ceased preaching. He studied medicine for three years, and practiced in
Maryland and Ohio before coming to Indianapolis in 1865. He promptly became a
member of the Central Church.
In 1878 after the Central
Church had introduced the organ, Webb withdrew and began meeting with a few in
what was called the Danish Church on South New Jersey Street. Shortly
afterwards, Webb purchased a frame house from the Sixth Presbyterian Church,
and had the building on the back of his lot behind his home on Mulberry Street.
This congregation met three times every Sunday. The forenoon service consisted
of short talks from the members—never any preaching. In the afternoon, they had
Bible study, and of course, these were conducted without lesson leaves. At
night, there was an evangelistic service.
When John F. Rowe visited
Indianapolis in the fall of 1887 he found seven congregations, consisting of
fifteen hundred members. The number included those using the organ. A new
congregation had recently been established in West Indianapolis by Abram
Plunkett. Wesley Davidson was one of the elders. The congregation had over a
hundred members. It had not added any “innovation.” On Home Avenue the “Third
Church” had recently been established. D. R. Vanbuskirk was a leading member
here. The congregation had three hundred and fifty members. The next year, 1888,
Z. T. Sweeney, who was then riding a high crest of popularity, spoke at the
dedication of a new church building.
Rowe had made frequent
excursions into Indianapolis. When he visited the city again in 1890, he found a
new congregation meeting on Madison Avenue. Two years later he came back to the
city and went with J. W. Perkins, J. Perry Elliott, H. I. Shick and B. N. Davis
to the newly founded North Indianapolis congregation. Rowe preached in the
forenoon and Perkins in the evening. The congregation had only twenty members,
nearly all of whom were young married people.
When, therefore, Daniel
Sommer moved to Indianapolis in 1894, he identified himself with this church in
North Indianapolis, and until his death preached off and on for this
congregation. Sommer's first major activity in Indianapolis was to announce a
ten week's Bible Reading to begin in May, 1894 and close the last of July. The
cost was to be about fifty dollars. A dozen young men or so came to the Bible
Reading. In later years, he lost some of his ardor for these readings insisting
that it gave young men the idea they were preachers long before they were ready
Sommer never distinguished
himself as a religious debater although he did engage in several during his
life. His first debate was held with a German Baptist in Ray County, Missouri.
Before the discussion, Sommer wrote, “Debating will be new business to me and I
have no idea that it will be enjoyable.” It did prove enjoyable, however, and
Sommer found considerable satisfaction in this type of teaching.
It will not be needful to
trace the life of Daniel Sommer through the years to his death in 1940. Much of
this would be relatively modern history with which the average reader would
already be acquainted. These facts of his life are given that cover the years of
his life that relate especially to those covered in this volume. On some points
of study with which this volume deals Daniel Sommer plays a prominent role.
Any estimate that one may
place upon the life's work on Daniel Sommer will understandably be colored by
the background of the biographer. We could wish in this matter as in all others
to be true, honest, and charitably objective. That Daniel Sommer was a great
preacher, possessing a great mind and heart, no person at all acquainted with
his life can for a moment doubt. He was fearless, independent, and ambitious.
Deploring as violently as he did the “digression” that swept the churches, it
was hardly possible for him to look with any charity or much understanding upon
anything, whatever it was, that played any part in causing this “departure.”
Sommer's experiences at
Bethany College found him departing from school with absolute disgust at the
idea that a preacher needed a college education. The trouble at the College of
The Bible in Kentucky University found the two men Sommer admired most—Ben
Franklin and Jacob Creath. Jr.—turning against Bible Colleges. Sommer was a
young preacher; they were older preachers. Their turning against these colleges
at a time when Sommer's heart was already chafing at the bitter memory of
Bethany, helped form a conviction in Sommer's heart. Too, Sommer could never
think of himself in any role except the successor of Elder Ben Franklin, whom he
regarded as the greatest gospel preacher since apostolic times. Franklin in his
latter years opposed colleges, and the man who wore his mantle would be likely
to do the same.
That Sommer went to
extremes at times, even he himself admitted. In championing for a short time
the view that preaching had no place at the morning worship, he saw soon was an
extreme and abandoned this course. For our part we are not willing that his
extremes should blind us in seeing the real greatness in the man, nor shall our
willingness to see his greatness stand as an obstacle to our seeing his
Sommer's point of view on
issues that developed before 1906 will be discussed in other chapters.
J.D. Tant, “An Open Letter,” Apostolic Review, Vol. LXXXI, Nos.
49, 50, (December 7, 1937), p.5.
Daniel Sommer, “ ‘Disciples Of Christ’ Challenged —No.18,” Apostolic
Review, Vol. LXXXI, Nos. 5,6 (February 2, 1937), p.8
Daniel Sommer, “‘Disciples of Christ’ Challenged—No. 22,” Vol. LXXXI,
Nos. 13, 14 (March 30, 1937), p. 8.
A. E. Sprague, “Daniel Sommer at Reynoldsburg, Ohio,” American
Christian Review, Vol. XXII, No. 4 (January 27, 1880), p. 30.
Ben Franklin, “The Right Idea,” American Christian Review, Vol.
XXI, No. 20 (May 14, 1878), p. 156.
George W. Rice, “Why I Am Now on the Review,” Octographic Review,
Vol. XXX, No. 24 (June 30, 1887), p. 1.
George W. Rice, “Daniel Sommer as a Preacher,” Octographic Review,
Vol. XXX, No. 43 (November 10, 1887), p. 8.
O. M. Benedict, “To the Readers of the Review,” American Christian
Review, Vol. XXX, No. 1 (January 6, 1887), p. 5.
West, Search For The Ancient Order Vol. II, Chapter XIV, pages
Daniel Sommer At 80
compliments of Terry J. Gardner
Daniel Sommer At Age 80
mp3, by Terry J. Gardner
Scan Courtesy of Terry J. Gardner - 11.2013
Scan Courtesy of Terry J. Gardner - 11.2013
Early Letterhead of The Octographic Review
courtesy of Terry J. Gardner, 05.14.2014
Death Notice In Word And Work
On Feb. 20 we received the following word from Allan Sommer: "Father died February 19; funeral February 21."
On Feb. 20 we sent the family, in response, the following note, which seems suitable for publication as a tribute here:
"We rejoice in all that the Lord accomplished by Daniel Sommer, but particularly in the mellowing, moderating influences of his later years.
"On the teaching of Prophecy, we saw almost 'eye to eye' with him, and he with us; and in his knowledge of these portions of scripture, he was a giant, beside whom most men today are but pygmies. Yes, he was a giant in many respects, and though we differed from him in his earlier attitudes, he has departed in our full respect and love."
-E. L. Jorgenson, Word And Work, March, 1940, page 70.
Directions To The Grave Of
Daniel Sommer is buried in the Crown Hill
Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Traveling On I-65 North Out Of Downtown
Indianapolis, Indiana Take The Dr. Martin Luther King Street Exit - Exit 117.
(Note: If you cross White River, You Have Gone Too Far) Go North On Dr. Martin
Luther King Street. Turn Right On West 32nd Street. Cemetery Will Be On Your
Left. Go Until The Road Dead Ends Into Boulevard And Turn Left. There Will Be An
Entrance To The Cemetery As You Cross The 34th Street Intersection. Turn Left
Into The Cemetery. Go To The First Right, And Then The First Right Again. Follow
The Road As It Curves Around To The Left (Section 39 Should Be On Your Left And
Section 114 Should Be On Your Right.) You Will Come Into An Intersection At The
North End Of Section 39. Look To Your Right For Section 41. Summer Will Be
Buried In This Section. Click On The Crown Hill Cemetery Map Below.
N39º 49.212' x W86º 09.864'
or D.d. 39.820134,-86.164401
Grave Facing West
Accuracy to 19ft.
Section 41, Lot 81
View Larger Map
Chester W. Sommer 1875-1950 - Son of Daniel and Katherine Sommer
Mary A. Sommer - 1883-1966 - Daughter-in-law of Daniel and Katherine Sommer
Katharine Way 1850-1924
Hill Cemetery Map
Daniel Sommer At Age 80
mp3, by Terry J. Gardner